Members of the

Rubin Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory

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The Rubin Lab


Rubin, Clinton

Principal Investigator

Summary : Clint (middle-background) in NASA's DC-9 "vomit comet" testing the ability to deliver low magnitude mechanical signals to a subject during weightlessness.

Tuthill, Alyssa

Laboratory Manager

Summary : Alyssa is the lab mom who maintains the well-being of the Musculoskeletal Research Lab and its lab members. She is also a candy supplier (but No Eating in the Lab) and an animal lover (mouse, rat, bird, cat, dog and PANDA!).

Chan, Ete

Research Assistant Professor

Summary : Ete started her post-doctoral training in Prof Rubin's lab in 2009 after obtaining her PhD from Columbia University. Her research interests are bone adaptation, mechnotransduction and osteoimmunology in normal and pathological conditions. After using a 3D bone explant model to study various mechanotransduction pathways between bone cells for her PhD thesis, she is now performing translational research using in vivo animal studies. With a particular focus on the bone marrow stem cell environment, she is currently using a murine model of diet-induced obesity to study how obesity affects the bone quality and quantity, as well as the immune system. Her study provides insights into the relationship between an increasing adipose burden on phenotypic and dysfunctional changes in bone marrow stem cell population, immune cells and the overall health (e.g., glucose intolerance in type 2 diabetes) during obesity. More interestingly, she showed that mechanical signals can be harnessed to mitigate these adverse effects by normalizing the hematopoietic stem cell differentiation pathways, implicating the potential of using a non-invasive, non-pharmacological means to treat consequences of obesity.

Pagnotti, Gabriel

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Summary : Gabriel is currently a second-year Biomedical Engineering doctoral student at Stony Brook University with an undergraduate education in Electrical Engineering. Our research team is interested in studying the mechanisms driving the differentiation of precursor cells within the marrow toward a committed cell lineage with the use of mechanical signaling via low intensity vibrations (LIV). As cancer patients are typically subject to bone loss and are at potential risk of fracture, either due to the cancer itself or through pharmacological interventions, a means by which to preserve both bone strength and marrow quality would be ideal. Though the preservation of bone is the hallmark outcome of LIV, interrogation of marrow constituents such as the lymphocyte and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) populations following LIV treatment has led him to focus largely on the effects of these signals in subjects inherently predisposed to developing pre-cancerous neoplastic tissue. Indications of a dedicated relationship between LIV and marrow-derived MSC's may hold clinical potential for slowing cancer progression and, thus, provide a non-invasive therapy for patients.

Pamon, Tee

Ph.D. Student

Summary : Tee is currently investigating the effects of high fat diet on articular cartilage health, in young and aging animal models. He is also interested in whether mechanical signals can be used as a potential therapeutic to promote joint health. Prior to being a Ph.D student, he completed a Masters in Engineering, with a specialization in biomechanics, at Cornell University.

Frechette, Danielle

Ph.D. Student

Summary : Danielle is a PhD student who studies the impact of excess fat (e.g. obesity, menopause) on the musculoskeletal system. Her work is focused on the migration and differentiation of bone marrow stem cells and their contribution to fat, bone, and muscle tissues. Additionally, she uses mechanical stimulation as a safe, non-invasive treatment to protect the musculoskeletal system from the consequences of excess adiposity.

Krishna, Divya

Ph.D. Student

Summary : Divya graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011. She majored in materials science and biomedical engineering. She is a second year graduate student hoping to gain her phd. She is interested in studying musculoskeletal and fat phenotypes in post menopausal and obesity animal models. She also studies the role of mechanical stimulation in improving bone/muscle quality as well as decreasing fatty accumulation in these models. Outside of school she loves to play tennis and dance.

Haider, Amna

BE Student

Summary : Amna is an undergraduate biomedical engineering major and has been working in the musculoskeletal lab since December 2014; she is involved on three separate projects. In collaboration with the Department of Bariatric Surgery, she is studying the postural stability of clinically obese individuals and, in collaboration with the Computer Science department, is also in the process of developing a Kinect-based motion video game for clinically obese individuals. She is also studying the effects of alcohol on bone quality and potential bone improvement through low intensity vibration (LIV) therapy. Finally, she is also a part of a research design team designing a medical device that aids in correcting improper gait and provides fall detection. Outside of lab Amna is an organic chemistry TA, on the executive board for BMES and MSA, a member of many clubs and honor societies, and a volunteer at the childrenís cancer center. In her free time she enjoys drawing, playing soccer and making puns.

Samphel, Tenzin

MS Student

Summary : Tenzin is a MS student that has been a part of the lab for about 3 years. He has already worked on multiple projects including the characterization of bone mineralization in mice tibia using FTIR and the quantification of visceral and subcutaneous fat in mice abdomen. He is currently investigating the degenerating effects of alcohol on subchondral bone and articular cartilage in the knee joint using EPIC-?CT. Working alongside his mentors, Tee and Dr. Chan, he is in pursuit to find out whether mechanical stimuli in the form of low intensity vibration (LIV) will improve conditions. Outside of academics, Tenzin loves playing basketball and guitar. After graduating this May, he wishes to bring his enthusiasm and interest in science to improve clinical technology in the biotech industry.

Saad-Eldin, Yusef

BE Student

Summary : Yusef is an undergraduate biomedical engineering student at Stony Brook University, and plans to specialize in biomechanics. He has been working in the musculoskeletal lab since January 2016. Outside of school, he enjoys sports. For the past four years he has been an assistant coach at one of the top youth soccer clubs in the nation.

Adler, Ben

Ph.D Student (Alumnus)

Summary : Ben is interested in how the bone marrow microenvironment maintains and helps to regulate hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and hematopoiesis. Diseases such as osteoporosis and obesity cause changes to this 'niche', and are associated with hematopoietic dysregulation. Ben is currently studying how systemic metabolic challenges such as obesity and diabetes affect the health and function of HSCs, and whether these effects can be prevented by methods which spare the bone marrow niche from damage. Low Intensity Vibrations (osteogenic stimuli which suppress adiposity) are studied for their potential to protect the niche from insults, thereby maintaining hematopoiesis in the face of disease.

Ananthabhotla, Bhavani

High School Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : Bhavani (also known to Alyssa as "Small One" ) attends Kings Park High School, and has been a member of our lab since 2011, receiving the Simon's Fellowship in 2013. Bhavani is helping us understand the impact of obesity on mechanical, areal and material property of bone as well as the efficacy of vibration treatment to improve bone quality in the obesity model. Years from now, she hopes to be pursuing a career in research.

Appiah-Nkansah, Kofi

MS Student (Alumnus)


Summary : Kofi is an M.S. student investigating the role of refractory periods in the response of bone, fat, and bone marrow-derived stem cells to low-magnitude mechanical signals in a mouse model. His previous education was at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA where he earned a degree in Bioengineering with a focus in Biopharmaceutical Engineering.

Green, Danielle

Ph.D. Student (Alumnus)


Summary : Danielle is a PhD student who is currently researching the relationship between cellular phenotypes in the bone marrow and bone micro-architectural quality by looking at an irradiated mouse model. She is also studying the effects of mechanical vibrations on the prevention of hematopoietic stem cell depletion in the bone marrow which could lead to preventative measures for people susceptible to bone loss.

Muir, Jesse

Ph.D. Student (Alumnus)


Summary : Jesse is a PhD student whose research focus is on postural stability and whole body vibration. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University where he studied postural instability and diabetic neuropathy. He started his research with Dr. Rubin studying the effects of whole body vibration on bone loss in microgravity in a collaborative project with NASA. Later, he turned to the effects of vibration on postural control, and reducing fractures through reduction of fall risk. To achieve these goals, he has worked with many groups, including the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, studying the effects of vibration on children with cerebral palsy, the VA Hospital in the Bronx, looking at vibration in spinal chord injury, and with Harvard Medical School, studying the usage of vibration to improve bone strength and reducing fall risk in the elderly.

Patri, Nirukta

MS Student (Alumnus)


Summary : Nirukta is currently persuing an MS in Biomedical Engineering along side working in the lab of Dr. Clinton Rubin. She received an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Univerisity of Auckland, New Zealand after which she worked in the healthcare industry for about a year before deciding to persue her higher education. Her research is mainly focused on the quality of the alveolar bone when subjected to low intensity vibration. The clinical significance of her research is to determine a non-invasive long-term tooth retention in osteoporotic, diabetic and aged patients who are prone to weakening of the alveolar bone thereby causing tooth loss.

Botros, Mario

Undergraduate Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : Mario is an undergraduate biomedical engineering student who joined the lab spring semester 2010. He seems to be very interested in learing about bone and fat characteristics in the human body. His research in the lab mainly focuses on the effects of mechanical signal stimulus on the adiposity level in the body. Anything related to bone seems to excite him (his nickname among his friends is BONE)!!! He loves playing sports especially soccer and tennis.

Cheung, Michelle

Undergraduate Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : Michelle joined our Musculoskeletal Research lab in Stony Brook University since the spring semester of 2011. She has contributed to our work on understanding how the bone remodeling process (bone resorption by osteoclasts in particular) is disrupted in the long bone of diet-induced obese murine model. Furthermore, she investigated how whole body, low intensity vibrations could be adopted as an anabolic signals in reducing the accelerated bone loss resulted from obesity by reducing both the hematopoietic stem cell's commitment to osteoclastic lineage and the activation of osteoclasts.

Lennon, James

Undergraduate Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : James is an undergraduate biomedical engineering major. He is currently a junior and he transferred to Stony Brook from St. John's University after two years there. His area of interest is biomechanics, and he has been working in Dr. Rubin's lab since October 2010. Aside from academics he enjoys most sports, mainly football and basketball.

Tsoi, Ada

Undergraduate Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : Majoring in biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University, Ada has been working in the musculoskeletal research lab since fall 2009. She is observing the compensatory responses of bone and articular cartilage to increased loading through a diet-induced obesity model. Outside lab, Ada is an active club member as she is the webmaster of Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), recording secretary of tau beta pi and the secretary of Engineering World Health (EWH). She will be attending graduate school at Virginia Tech in Fall 2011.

Parigoris, Eric

High School Researcher (Alumnus)

Summary : Eric is from Kings Park High School and has been a member our Musculoskeletal Research lab in Stony Brook University since February of 2011. He is helping our lab understand how murine macrophages respond to low intensity vibration in addition to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin which activates macrophages. He is looking at the expression of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory genes and functional abilities of macrophages. Eric is also studying the effect of low intensity vibration, LPS, and a high fat diet in mice on the gene expression and nitric oxide production in the bone marrow cells.

Nguyen, Denis

Undergraduate Student (Alumnus)

Summary : Denis is a third year BME student on the cellular and molecular track. He joined the lab in August 2011 and is studying the effects of obesity on trabecular and cortical bone development. He enjoys playing tennis, running, and long boarding in his spare time.